Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
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What happened? I was debating whether or not to give this book two stars, but couldn't bring myself to do it. That's probably because I loved the first book, and the flow of this one was still just as fast. I read it in a night, so to me that says something. For those of you who've read my review on Crescendo, you know how upset I get when the second book in a series isn't nearly as good as the first. While this doesn't compare to how bad the second installment of Hush, Hush, was, it's still gone pretty downhill, in my opinion. Just a heads up, this review WILL contain SPOILERS, so if you haven't yet read the book, don't read on. If this is the case, I will say you should still read it, despite my opinion. I do still want to read the third book, after all, so even though there was a lot about this book I didn't like, I still clearly enjoy Kiera Cass's voice. Ok, now to the review. I can't even begin to tell you guys how disappointed I am in America. As a character, it feels like in this book she fell by the wayside. She wasn't smart, she wasn't altogether kind, and she was selfish. She claims to care about both Aspen and Maxon, and yet she treats them like door mates. When she's with one she can't imagine being with the other, and vice versa. That's not fair, and frankly not really at all how romance should go. She makes out with Aspen in secret, then get's all pissed off when she finds out Maxon is starting to develop feelings for Kris. I can understand her being upset about Celeste, because let's be honest, that girl is a troll. However, I can also see where Maxon is coming from there. He's been waiting for America to finally tell him that she loves him, and it's probably making him feel like crap. He feels inadequate, and so he turns to the one girl he knows he can get a little meaningless seconds from. In retrospect, America is still the one here who's in the most wrong. She's been going around behind Maxon's back with Aspen for weeks, and not only that, but she actually loves Aspen. Maxon doesn't care about Celeste. Even after what happens to Marnee, she still fools around with Aspen. How selfish is that? And careless! I thought that she was taking the whole situation far to lightly. She was upset at what happened to her friend, but not enough to be cautious and call the whole thing with Aspen off. She's putting his life at risk too, and his family's considering they rely on his income to survive. She was far too judgy, and spoiled in this book. She expected Maxon to place all his attention on her, and even though he did special things for her that he did for no one else, she still accused him of lying and messing with her emotions. Hello? You're the one who's dangling him! Not that I was a huge advocate for Maxon this book either, because I wasn't. He seemed much weaker in this book than the first, and he also came off a lot more standoffish. He's only really kept one girl around that he liked, because it wasn't until later that he noticed Kriss. All the rest he kept because he was told. Not very princely. And figuring out what the rebels were after? Cake! It was so obvious that I kept shaking my head every time they appeared. It was obvious from the FIRST BOOK in fact, since her dad's history text book was mentioned a few times. Kind of stupid that they couldn't come to that conclusion. Speaking of the book, America was such a selfish person there. She's got this opportunity to show the country, and us the reader, that she's truly capable of making a change. All she has to do is come up with a good philanthropy concept. This would have reestablished some of my faith in her, but what happens? She can't think of anything. And when she does, it's out of anger. Should the caste system be abolished? Of course! But it doesn't take a genius to know that that can't be done over night. Suggesting on national television that the entire countries infrastructure should be changed is not a successful way of doing things. She didn't protect anyone, or help them in any way. If anything, she just made the idea of abolishing the caste system even more ridiculous sounding to those in charge. It was stupid, and it was petty. She did in part to piss people off, so that she would get sent home because Maxon refused. BUT THEN she's all surprised when people actually get pissed?! That makes no sense. Especially when she used the secret book (the one she didn't even tell Aspen about!) on camera, in front of everyone! Of course you're going to get Maxon in trouble! That was just a horrible thing to do, something worthy of Celeste in fact. I don't see why either guy is still interested in her at this point, which makes it hard because for some strange reason I still really love this series. I want to know what happens, I still plan on buying the third book, and I still want her to end up with Maxon. However, I want proof that she can be a good leader, not just an entire book of her whining that she doesn't think she can be. Really, what was that about? All this book was was her complaining she's not good enough to be a princess. In the first book, the number dropped from thirty-five girls to Six, in this one it went from six to four. See the difference? This book should have been condensed and then added to the first book instead. An entire book was just not necessary, and nothing really happened to further the story. Apart from a bunch of judgmental jargon, and then her self doubt, there wasn't really anything in here except filler. I hope the third book wraps the series up nicely, and I'll be able to chock this book up to the middle book blues, which seems to happen to authors writing trilogies a lot. I do still recommend reading it, like I said it's a quick read so it's not like you'd be wasting a ton of time. And I still like the story, it's interesting enough to keep your attention, though mostly just because it makes you want to read the third book and see that all this crazy has been corrected. I really hope our faith in America is restored in the next installment, because despite everything I liked her a lot in the first book. Still, unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.